MONROE—The Manti boys’ basketball team drove to Monroe with a lot of questions about their identity, but they drove back learning at least that they can still win games.
The Templars also learned that Kayson Douglas is really, really good, as the junior dropped 24 points to lead all scorers as Manti began their season with a road win against an old rival in South Sevier, 61-46, last Tuesday.
Manti showcased a suppressive defense that held the Rams to only 2 points in the first quarter. South Sevier was unable to score for nearly eight minutes of the first and second quarters. Meanwhile, the Templars built up a 15-point lead midway early in the second quarter before shots finally began to fall for the Rams.
Manti’s offense then heated up in the second half as the team began to embrace the old Templar tradition of raining 3-pointers. Manti finished with five made 3-pointers for the game. Late in the fourth quarter, the Templars built up a lead as large as 21 points, but the Rams made an 8-2 run over the final two minutes to close it out within a respectable distance.
“We found some things that worked for us and got some good production out of some rotations,” Coach Devin Shakespear said. “Guys are stepping into roles. I was most pleased with our improved focus on our defense. It was a good foundational win for us, and now we need to build from there.”
Junior Reggie Frischknect backed up Douglas with 12 points on the night, while junior Larsen Pogroszewski added 10 points, including two 3-pointers.
The Templars will be participating in the Central Utah Boys’ Preview this week at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. They’ll face Morgan on Friday and Richfield on Saturday.